A new mural will soon be painted on the southeast wall of the BDO Centre for the Community which will feature the seven sacred teachings.
The Urban Indigenous Strategy applied for a $10,000 grant from the Government of Canada's 'Canadian Heritage National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Community Project Application'.
Indigenous Community Coordinator Assistant Jacinda Houle applied for the grant with the help of Rachel Templeton, the Community Facilitator for the Portage Community Revitalization Corporation, and someone who is also on the Portage Urban Indigenous Peoples Coalition committee. Houle says it was quite the process.
"I feel proud because when I applied for it, I was brainstorming what we wanted to name it, and we wanted to use an Indigenous name, like in the Ojibway language," says Houle. "I texted my mom and then I was like, 'What's a good name for this project?' At first, I asked her, what 'brave' meant in Ojibway, and she sent me Zoongide, which means 'strong heart' in Ojibway."
She says her mom, Renata Beaulieu, made the journey to the spirit world on July 22nd. She would often reference the seven grandmothers and the seven teachings, and she will be memorialized in the mural through the depiction of an eagle. (Renata's spirit name was 'Sounds Like An Eagle'.) The seven sacred teachings refer to Love, Respect, Bravery, Truth, Honesty, Humility & Wisdom.
Houle says this mural will be created by Winnipeg artist Annie Beach, with local artist (and Jacinda's younger sister) Jaida Houle assisting. Jacinda says she had a vision for what she wanted the mural to look like, and she's excited for it to be done.
"It's very special to me because it's going to (honour) residential school survivors and the children that never made it home," says Houle. "I come from a family of survivors. It's very important that we're doing this and I can't express how happy I am and excited and proud, and my mom is proud, too."
The plan is for the mural to be finished by September 30th, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.